The Fifties The Teen Pregnancy Decade

Teenage pregnancy and motherhood peaked in the 1950s amid the postwar Baby Boom, when nearly 1 in 10 girls age 15 to 19 gave birth every year and nearly half of all new brides in the country were under age 20. That four-fifths of these were legitimized by often-short-lived marriages did not cover up the high rates of high schoolers' sex. Notions that the past was more moral what one sociologist historian called the myth of an abstinent past were belied by cold statistics of the time, which were...